A computer methodology is presented that allows natural aggregate producers, local governmental, and nongovernmental planners to define specific locations that may have sand and gravel deposits meeting user-specified minimum size, thickness, and geographic and geologic criteria, in areas where the surficial geology has been mapped. As an example, the surficial geologic map of the South Merrimack quadrangle was digitized and several digital geographic information system databases were downloaded from the internet and used to estimate the sand and gravel resources in the quadrangle. More than 41 percent of the South Merrimack quadrangle has been mapped as having sand and (or) gravel deposited by glacial meltwaters. These glaciofluvial areas are estimated to contain a total of 10 million m3 of material mapped as gravel, 60 million m3 of material mapped as mixed sand and gravel, and another 50 million m3 of material mapped as sand with minor silt. The mean thickness of these areas is about 1.95 meters. Twenty tracts were selected, each having individual areas of more than about 14 acres4 (5.67 hectares) of stratified glacial-meltwater sand and gravel deposits, at least 10-feet (3.0 m) of material above the watertable, and not sterilized by the proximity of buildings, roads, streams and other bodies of water, or railroads. The 20 tracts are estimated to contain between about 4 and 10 million short tons (st) of gravel and 20 and 30 million st of sand. The five most gravel-rich tracts contain about 71 to 82 percent of the gravel resources in all 20 tracts and about 54-56 percent of the sand. Using this methodology, and the above criteria, a group of four tracts, divided by narrow areas sterilized by a small stream and secondary roads, may have the highest potential in the quadrangle for sand and gravel resources. ?? Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006.
Additional publication details
Estimated sand and gravel resources of the South Merrimack, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, 7.5-minute quadrangle